Daily Brief - Wednesday 31st January, 2018

NEWS

Beaten Tobago schoolboy recovering

Jaden Perreira, the 17-year-old Tobago student who was severely beaten, and his skull fractured with a concrete block by schoolmates at the Signal Hill Secondary School in Tobago, is recovering slowly but surely. The incident occurred almost two weeks ago. His father Sean Perreira said Jaden was still experiencing headaches and dizziness, but was feeling much better. Read more here

UTT shuts down SAPA campus

Grappling to deal with financial constraints, the University of T&T has now closed down its campus at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando. Workers from Electro-sign Ltd were seen removing the UTT signs from the $350 million facility yesterday, built to develop and showcase indigenous cultural talent. UTT president Sarim Al-Zubaidy did not respond to emails but board member Professor Clement Imbert confirmed the UTT SAPA campus was no more. Read more here

T&T records its bloodiest month

January 2018 will go down in Trinidad and Tobago’s history as the country’s bloodiest month, with the highest number of murders recorded over the 31-day period. The most recent victims were identified as 21-year-old Ricardo Prescott, 30-year-old Miguel Cruickshank, and 37-year-old Ricky Harripersad. Read more here

 

POLITICS

Ramdial knocks Garcia

Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial is accusing Education Minister Anthony Garcia of neglecting his duties to hundreds of students attending the Carapichaima East Secondary School after he failed to address the problem of a pigeon infestation. She said the situation has become unbearable for students and teachers, with some of them being affected by rashes and breathing problems due to the droppings. Read more here

Dillon: New laws to target cop, prison officer killers

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon said yesterday that his ministry was examining the law to go after people who commit offences against members of the protective services. Dillon made the comment in response to a question posed by Opposition Senator Saddam Hosein who enquired what steps Government had taken to safeguard the lives of prison officers during the sitting of the Senate. Hosein’s question came on the heels of the murder of prison officer Davendra Boodooram who was shot dead last Friday after leaving work at the Port-of-Spain State Prison. Read more here

 

BUSINESS

Trade Minister defends $7.6m Hilton pool upgrade

In order to maintain their physical assets as landlords while at the same time providing a safe and secure environment for users, government has invested TT $7.6 million to rebuild the pool and pool deck at the Trinidad Hilton and Conference Centre. Commenting on the expense yesterday, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon explained, "The previous facility was 53-years-old and we had a responsibility to ensure the property was maintained and is up to a particular standard." Read more here

Will NGC return to negotiating table?

 

In the Sunday Express, in a commentary headlined ‘Will corn-stepping Gerry outlast the invisible hand,” the Caribbean Nitrogen Company (CNC) dispute with state-owned National Gas Company (NGC) over a gas contract was placed in an international context, given the fact that a minority owner of CNC—and two other ammonia plants on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate—is part of the empire of the right-wing, industrialist billionaire Koch brothers, David and Charles. Read more here

 

REGIONAL

One Voice Against Crime - 51 MPs Vote To Extend State Of Emergency

Lawmakers yesterday voted unanimously to extend the state of public emergency in St James by three months, sending a strong signal to the criminal underworld that legislators were in unison as they approved a resolution to cramp the record murder rate in the parish. Fifty-one parliamentarians voted in support of extending the state of public emergency in St James until May 2. Eleven legislators were absent. "People are seeing that the Government is serious, the Opposition is serious about crime. There is an evolving consensus that we must tackle this thing," Prime Minister Andrew Holness said in Parliament yesterday. Read more here

 

INTERNATIONAL

Trump greets the union with an open hand and a clenched fist

As Donald Trump reeled off his debut State of the Union address, it felt like the tumult and anger and chaos of the last few years never happened. For after tearing at America's divides to win and wield power, the President used his big televised moment on Tuesday night to pose as the great uniter. Summoning all the pageantry of his office, in a scripted speech which mixed oratory with praise for inspirational American heroes in the first lady's gallery, Trump made a coherent, though controversial case for his presidency, declaring there had never been a better time to live the American dream. Read more here

Taliban threaten 70% of Afghanistan, BBC finds

Months of research across the country show how areas the Taliban threaten or control have surged since foreign combat troops left in 2014. The Afghan government played down the report, saying it controls most of the areas but recent attacks claimed by Taliban and Islamic State militants have killed scores in Kabul and elsewhere.  Read more here

31st January 2018

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